Monday, March 24, 2014

Winter/Spring Travel Packing for 1 week

As mentioned before, we had a car trip to visit family and friends who live 700 km away. That's about a 6.5 hour drive with 2 kids under 5 and all the winter gears for a family of 4. We only have a small family car so packing efficiently is a mandatory skill. My stuff (clothing, toiletries, accessories, magazines) only took up half of a small carry-on suit case. It was basically 3 key outfits that can be mixed and matched for various functions: outdoor ice/snow fun, family dinners and perhaps something more somber. And here are the things I brought with me (I guess I should have ironed the clothes before taking pictures):

1. Outerwear
  • a black 11-year-old down jacket that's very warm and still going strong. The colour and style makes it very versatile for outdoor play or dinners or funerals.
  • a red self-stitched wool hat based on Simplicity 5799. It's made with red wool coating and lined with cotton broadcloth. Very warm and I love the colour.

2. Middle layers
3. Under layers
  • 3 long sleeves cotton tshirts - black green and silver
  • 2 silk camisoles to be worn under the tshirts for warm. Can also be worn with the black cardi above for dressy dinners.

4. Scarves
  • a thrifted red/black polyester scarf
  • a beige alpaca scarf
  • a self-stitched wool paisley scarf (I just bought the wool fabric and bounded the edges)

5. Pants
  • a pair of self-stitched Polartec Windbloc pants based on McCall's 5273. It's warm and water repellant. Good for outdoor snow/ice activities. The dark colour also makes it look more dressy for dinners.
  • a pair of self-stitched jeggings also based on McCall's 7273.

6. Pajamas/Loungewear
  • a pair of black leggings
  • a hand-me-down men's PJ top

The weather during the trip was between -15C to 5C and on the last day there was a snow storm. This wardrobe took care of the varying weather.  I wore the bulkiest stuff during the trip: the silver sweatshirt, the Polartec pants with a camisole and long sleeves tshirt, and of course the down jacket and hat. The rest fit snugly inside half of a small carry-on suitcase with my toiletries bag. I was able to wear different-looking outfits for the week. The only thing I had remember was to do a wash every other day. Luckily I was staying with friends and family and they have washing machines and tumble dryers.

So do you have a tried-and-true packing list that you use for different seasons?


  1. I always overpack. I need to streamline for my trips this summer :)

    1. Thanks Tami for your comment! I have had to travel a lot since I was in my teens so I had been trained very early on to pack very little. Don't want to get sore arms/shoulders for dragging too much around!